Football

Butler head football coach Brian Hales breaks down Friday’s 4A western regional final versus Grimsley

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Welcome back to high school. Ot, I’m Zach Adams and I’m joined this afternoon by Butler head football coach, brian Hills. Thank you for joining me this afternoon coach. You gotta check. Thanks for having me up. Uh, any time. So Butler is 81 overall. I finished second in the Southwestern for a conference and earned a automatic bid to the playoffs through nine games. Just how have the bulldogs got to this point of being one game away from my playing for a state title just by focus on, you know, really, I’m getting better, you know, every time we have an opportunity to whether it’s, you know, in meetings, whether it’s on the practice field, you know, certainly on friday nights. Um, and it really, and that’s what’s been so fun about this group is, you know, they recognized their opportunities to improve and they really, you know, taken the bull by the horns, so to speak. And you know, just, they’ve been such a mature group, you know, especially in the last couple of weeks, um, you know, since the Myers Park game and realize what’s at stake and um, you know, really, it’s just, it’s so much fun to coach, so the old ones are set to drive to uh matched up with Grimsley tomorrow night, just drive you and your coaching staff. I’ve been preparing for Grimsley and just what past knowledge do you have of that program? Uh you know, not a lot really, um you know, we went up there and played them back in 2000 and six, I believe it was um I’ve been here since 2000 and four, so you know, certainly I was around for that, we’ve got a couple of coaches on our staff to play for us back then. Um another coach, Mark Sanders was on the staff, but you know, outside of that really, the only thing we know about them is just, you know what we’ve seen on film from them. You know, obviously they’ve been very successful here um in the last couple of years. You know, it’s a pretty deep playoff runs and you know, certainly when you turn the film on, you get, you know, recognize the talent that they have and you know, the tenacity that they play with, So a 42 for grant, 35-0 shutout against providence thus far and the for a postseason, just take me through the 1st and 2nd rounds from your perspective as head coach. Uh, you know, it just couldn’t be more pleased. Um, you know, the kids have really, you know, they’ve had a great mentality and you know, like I mentioned just, you know, the maturity, they’ve showed the leadership and you know, we talk to our kids all the time that, you know, everyone is a leader, you know, whether you’re leaving for good or leading for bad and all of our kids have been leaving for good here lately. Um you know, somebody starts to kind of get a little silly and you know, act a little crazy and you know, these guys are the ones that just kind of, you know, get control, you know, tell me, you know, we gotta lock in, we don’t have time for that stuff and um, you know, and that’s kind of been the mentality. So, you know, we went up to glen, you know, that first playoff game and obviously it was a new opponent for us. Um, you know, the game started off, they’re moving the ball and going in a pretty good tempo and, you know, the defense kind of, you know, boat up and put the brakes on that. And then we got off to a great start with our first possession on offense and you know, kickoff team of down force to fumble. We returned for a touchdown. And you know, basically since that moment, I mean, we’ve been playing really downhill on offense and defense. Um, you know, we began great special teams play, you know, we blocked, partially blocked two pumps also in the glad game. So, you know, just super happy with, you know, all three phases. Mm So Damien rest me victory at Glen 16th. I’ve seen your money back is rushed for 1194 yards and 16 touchdowns through nine games. Uh, just what has stood out to you, uh, the most about coaching Davian in this short season? Well, you know, I mean, David has been fantastic. You know, he’s such a humble kid, such a hard worker. Um, you know, and I think it kind of starts with that, you know, there’s no ego bottom, there’s no, you know, I need to get this many touches, I need to do this. It’s it’s all about team of Davian, but, you know, certainly you can’t, you know, have a running back go for 1200 yards, you know, in in nine games without having great offensive line play. And that’s, you know, we’re an older group up front. You know, we’ve got four senior started for us and, you know, guys that have been through some big games before, so, you know, just the way they’ve been playing it, it’s just been it’s just been such a cohesive team that, you know, Dave Wiens physicality kind of, you know, it spread throughout the whole football team and, you know, you see Davey in with the big run and, you know, he’s taking people with him. You know, he certainly finishes his runs off and you know, the guys see that and you know, it gets them excited. You know, whether it’s the old line guys where the, you know, the defense is what he’s doing and you know, and then they’re more physical. So, you know, he’s very much a tone center for us. So Butler, uh, March, 12 years Mark score was 24 to 21. And that is the most points that Butler has given up all year long. Just what did your football team learned from that defeat in particular? You think how important it is to play hard all the time. Um, you know, whether it’s your number that’s called or, you know, you’re the backside guy, you know, on his own blocking scheme or whatever. Um, we just didn’t play really hard that night. Um you know, I think, excuse me, I think we thought we’re a little bit better than we were at that point and you know, kinda had a certain attitude about us and um and it got us beat, you know, plain and simple, um you know, once we showed the kids to film and you know, it took a good, hard look at ourselves and, you know, I’m the first one to look at myself and, you know, realized I probably didn’t do a great job that night. And so I kind of looked at some of the things I was doing, some of the things I did that night and you know, when the kids recognize that we’re all taking responsibility for it, I mean we’re not gonna run off and blaming the kids for, you know, it starts with us, you know, as a coaching staff. So, you know, we looked at how we’re doing things and, you know, even, you know, the setup of how we did things from day to day and week to week. We made a lot of changes that night and you know, the kids, you know, they also, they recognize their role in it and I mean, they just, they’ve been unbelievable since that night and, you know, as much as we hated to not win that game, ultimately, it is private, best thing that happened for us. So, uh, the Southwestern has to uh, playing in regional tomorrow. The Mustangs host Vance while a Butler of course travels to Grimsley, just, what do you think that says about the strength of the league and maybe a quote unquote message sent to the charlotte area and the state of north Carolina as a whole? Uh, you know, I mean, I think everybody recognizes the quality of football is played here in charlotte and I don’t, you know, and I don’t necessarily buy into, well, this leagues better than that league. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s just a matter of there’s a lot of great football players here in charlotte, um, there’s a lot of great coaches and coaching staffs here in charlotte and really, um, excuse me, you know, it’s never really about one coach or anything like that, it’s about the staff and, you know, the people you choose to surround your kids with and, you know, the quality of the coaching here in charlotte’s really, really deep. Um, so no, you know, like I said though, I think everybody around the state recognizes how good charlotte football is and, you know, we just happen to have two teams right now playing in the, you know, in the, in the regional final, you know, but you’re looking next year where the conferences will realign admires part will be with us. But charlotte catholic, who is also playing in the regional final, will be coming to our conference and you know, providence that we played last week, they’ll be coming to our conference. So, you know, you gotta prepare every week. And you know, the funny thing is there’s just so much diversity around the city in terms of, you know, the offenses that are being run the defenses that are being run that by the time you get to the playoffs, there really isn’t anything you haven’t seen already that year. So a butler has uh, per game when I emerged throughout the spring season, Grimsley has a bunch of experience back on the defensive side of the ball and only allows 6.5 points. Something has to give on friday night, of course. Uh, just what is it gonna take maybe a key or two for the bulldogs offense to find a rhythm in the regional title game. It’s, you know, we, we talked there saying kid, I think we’re, you know, we do a good job staying consistent with our message that, um, you know, we talk about is how we play. It’s not about who we play. You know, certainly grips with great football team. But um, you know, the questions change from week to week in terms of scheme, in terms of personnel that you’re playing. But the answers are always the same and the answers are, um, you know, play as hard as you possibly can every play. Um, you know, eliminate pre snap penalties, Make sure there’s no post snap penalties on the offensive side. Make sure you take care of the football and you know, as long as you’re taking care of all of those things. Um, you know, we feel good about the talent that we have here, that, you know, if we control those things that we could control, we’ve got a chance to win, you know, on friday night. So um, you know, it’s just about, again, like I said, us taking care of us and you know, making sure that if we do get beat that somebody has to play a great football game to do it. Um, you know, make sure they’re beating us at our best. Uh, those are not as familiar with the Butler and its roster. I just for some players of note that have impressed you or your coaching staff throughout this abbreviated football season. Sure, sure. You know, we talked about a couple of guys on the offensive side of the party with Davey in um you know, on the outside jake snap, you know, it does a lot of things for us, you know, not just catching the ball, but you know, running the football in the return game, you know, Parish Metzger’s the 2nd 2nd season start for us, a quarterback. Um you know, I kind of talked about the offensive line there, we got four seniors upfront, like leo are Don does in his fourth year as a starter for us. Um you know, Aaron McKeever doesn’t, you know, a lot of things as well, you know, he plays multiple positions along the offensive front for us, but you know, the defensive side of the ball really is, I think where you know, a lot of kids are getting overlooked and you know, I think most people know about bryce takes it up front, but you know, you just like the guys who surrounded with, you know, Blakemore is kind of a hybrid defensive end Outside linebacker Type. J. J. Coleman has a 10th grader. Um you know, kind of same thing gives us the flexibility to our defense, but you know, really when you look at the back end of our defense, um you know, as a loss is a kid who is a Shrine Bowl selection. Um well I think it’s been a bit overlooked this year. Um Corey Hunter has been an outstanding player for us, you know, Gary McDougall, Donovan Woods and um you know, really the list goes on and on and you know, I think that’s what’s been the most fun thing about our football team this year is, you know, you don’t have a lot of those five star blue chip big time recruits, you got a bunch of really good high school players who, you know, have a chance to, you know, have success on the next level, but you know, they’re more worried about here and now, you know, they’re not looking down the road to college or things like that, they’re just trying to be the best team. They could be to have fun playing with each other and have fun playing for each other. A Butler, you here in the state title games 2012, Butler Feta Jack Britt of 56 to 28 to win its third championship in four years back then. Just how important would coming back to Matthew’s triumphant with an opportunity to earn another state title trophy, B two Butlers Varsity football program and the community itself. Oh, that’s great. You know, being around Matthews and being around here for the three state championship teams, seeing how, you know, Matthews, you know, the town of Matthew’s kind of embraces the team gets excited for everybody and um, you know, everyone takes a great deal of pride in it and, you know, we’ve got a great administration here, you know, that cares about the kids first and foremost, and you know, it does everything they can to make sure, you know, they have the things they need to be successful, but um, you know, I think it would be very important for us, um, you know, just in terms of, you know, just enthusiasm around charlotte, um, you know, because it’s, you know, it’s such a transient community, we have a lot of people moving around. Um, so it’s, you know, it’s really important that, you know, you’re winning, you’re successful and you know, you’re an attractive option for people as their, you know, a lot of people moved to charlotte out of people from up north of me myself. I’m a transplant for pennsylvania and, you know, saw this area and saw things that, you know, a lot of things that reminded me of home around here. So, um, you know, it’s great for the future. It’s great for the kids that are here, um, you know, just in the excitement around the school, it’s just really, it’s second to none around here. So I found, uh, some things that, and butlers who have become for a Western regional champions tomorrow night, um, like I said, the kids love playing with each other and that is a very hard thing to be. Um, you know, just, you know, when they look out for each other, when they push each other, when they’re encouraging each other and they’ll be competitive and they get after each other in practice and compete in the weight room and things like that. But you know, they know at the end of the day they’re gonna wear those silver elements with the bulldogs on the side and, you know, ultimately, and you know, and I’m sure Coach Brown and all the other coaches around the state will say, when you have a team that fights for each other and plays for each other, um, you’re a tough team to beat, and I think that’s ultimately what we have going for us is just how much these kids love playing together.

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